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Generalised self-efficacy and work values as indicators of job satisfaction: evidence from China


  • Pamela Lenton

    () (Department of Economics, University of Sheffield, UK)

  • Lu Yin

    () (School of Public Administration, Nanjing University of Finance and Economics, China)


This paper examines the role of generalised self-efficacy and work values, on employee reports of overall job satisfaction in China from 2012 to 2014. This paper is novel in two ways. The first is that different aspects of job satisfaction in China are examined in addition to overall satisfaction and the second is that we examine self-efficacy and work values after controlling for occupation and income. The evidence presented supports our various hypotheses that self-efficacy and perceived work values play a large role in determining both reported overall job satisfaction and job satisfaction with various aspects of the job in China. In particular, we find a strong link between the National Vocational Qualification system in China and generalised self-efficacy, which we believe enhances workers sense of capability. The implication for Chinese employers is that it is imperative for their worker productivity that they look after their employees’ perceived self-efficacy, possibly by encouraging access to the National Qualification system and that they also facilitate a good working environment where worker relations or ‘guanxi’ can flourish.

Suggested Citation

  • Pamela Lenton & Lu Yin, 2018. "Generalised self-efficacy and work values as indicators of job satisfaction: evidence from China," Working Papers 2018017, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:shf:wpaper:2018017

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    File Function: First version, November 2018
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    More about this item


    Generalised self-efficacy; Work values; Job satisfaction; Ordered-probit;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy
    • J81 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - Working Conditions

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